MMAOB staff writer Adam Martin takes a deeper look at the main event of UFC Paris, a five-round heavyweight bout between Ciryl Gane and Tai Tuivasa. The event takes place on Saturday, September 3 at Accor Arena in Paris, France.
Ciryl Gane (-540)
Gane (10-1) is the No. 1 contender in the UFC heavyweight division. The 32-year-old Frenchman joined the UFC in 2019 and since then he is 7-1 with four of those wins coming by stoppage. He has fought a high level of competition in the UFC, with wins over the likes of Derrick Lewis, Jairzinho Rozenstruik, and Alexander Volkov, and his lone UFC loss coming against the champion Francis Ngannou. Gane is one of the most complete heavyweights in the UFC. He has great striking and we’ve seen his knockout power, but he also has a lethal ground game, and his conditioning is among the best in the division. He already had a title shot and lost his chance to win the belt, but with a big win over Tuivasa in this fight, Gane will be right back at the top of the division once again.
Tai Tuivasa (+420)
Tuivasa (15-3) is the No. 3 ranked heavyweight in the UFC. The 29-year-old Aussie joined the UFC in 2017 and since then he is 8-3 in the Octagon with seven of those wins coming by way of knockout. He is one of the most powerful punchers in the UFC heavyweight division and he has been on a roll as of late with huge victories over the likes of Derrick Lewis and Augusto Sakai. Overall, Tuivasa has looked great, and he’s bounced back nicely from the three-fight losing skid he had a few years back. Is he championship material? We will find that out if he defeats Gane.
Fight Breakdown: This should be a fun heavyweight bout for as long as it lasts. The fight is scheduled for 25 minutes, but given the firepower both men possess, this bout doesn’t seem likely to go the distance. Of course, the betting line is massively in Gane’s favor, and he should absolutely win this fight. He is the more well-rounded fighter with better conditioning and he’s fighting at home in front of his fans in Paris, France. He has multiple paths to win this fight with a knockout, a submission, and even a decision being potential ways that he wins. Tuivasa, meanwhile, does have a puncher’s chance to connect on his chin and put his lights out. Otherwise, it seems like a tough matchup for him. While you can never completely discount the possibility of a Tuivasa bomb ending any heavyweight fight, the most likely outcome for this matchup sees Gane getting his hand raised.
Given the way the two match up, it seems likely it will be a standup fight, with the possibility of a knockout enhanced for either man just because of the stylistic matchup. Overall, I see Gane getting his hand raised by a late stoppage. I do think he will have to avoid some big bombs from Tuivasa early in the bout, but in the end, I believe Gane will be able to outpace Tuivasa and finish him late.
Prediction: Ciryl Gane